by Daniel A. Mora | 27 July 2021 | The question of the authority of Ellen White’s writings continues to be a head-scratcher for Adventists. One traditional position can be seen in a recent article by Marvin Moore responding to Loren Seibold’s article, “Ellen White, the Bible, and Persistent Hermeneutical Confusion.” Moore’s observations affirm that […] Source: https://atoday.org/who-has-authority-ellen-white-or-the-bible/
We noticed already that Matthew’s use of “yoke” in this section echoes Judaism’s use of the term and that of other New Testament texts referring to a wrong understanding of the law.
The Greek term translated as “easy” in the NKJV in Matthew 11:30 can also be translated as “good, pleasant, useful, and benevolent.” Many people around us consider God’s law heavy-handed, difficult to comply with, and, at times, irrelevant. How can we help them to discover the beauty of the law and inspire love for the Lawgiver?
Parents always remember the moment when their child took that first step. A wobbly first step is followed by a tentative second step, then a third — and by then it’s most likely that the child will stumble and fall. There may be some tears and perhaps even a bruise, but once the child has felt the freedom of movement, he or she will get up and try again. Walk, fall, get up, walk, fall, get up. The sequence repeats itself many times before the child can walk securely. And yet, amidst stumbles and falls, there is a proud little face triumphantly declaring: Papa, Mama, I can walk!
Walking with Jesus may not always be easy, but it’s always good and the right thing to do. We may stumble; we may even fall; yet, we can get up and continue to walk with Him at our side.
In Galatians 5:1, Paul wrote: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (NKJV). What does that mean? How has Christ made us free? What is the difference between the yoke He asks us to carry and the “yoke of bondage” that Paul warns us against?
We can be sure that whatever exactly Paul meant by the “yoke of bondage,” he was not referring to obedience to God’s law, the Ten Commandments. On the contrary, it’s through obedience, by faith, understanding that our salvation is secure, not based on the law but on Christ’s righteousness covering us, that we can have true rest and freedom.
|Why is living a life of obedience to God’s law one of more restfulness than one in which we disobey that law?|
26 July 2021 | Aunty, I wish you lived next door. Our millennial kids are good, loving people, but not interested being Seventh-day Adventists. Besides prayer and loving them, what can we do? Signed, Worried mother and dad Dear Worried, Aunty wanted to make sure she got this right, so she asked a millennial who […] Source: https://atoday.org/my-children-have-left-the-church-what-can-we-do/
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
When Jesus places his yoke upon us, He is not giving us a burden, He is giving us a support system.
I have heard it said that God will never give us more trials or burdens than we can handle. I disagree. God will definitely give us more than we can handle, but He will never give us more than He can handle. This is where the yoke of Christ comes in. His yoke is meant to carry our burdens. He gives us rest as we work in His strength instead of our own weakness. Paul writes about a time when he was given a trial from God in which he did not have the ability to endure.
We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 NLT
Here we see Paul was crushed and overwhelmed beyond his ability to endure. Paul stopped relying on his abilities to endure and instead relied upon God. God saved Paul. Paul’s confidence is not in himself but in God. Paul also mentions the prayers of others helped get him through. Paul was given more than he could handle, but, thanks to God and his church family, he endured. God does not expect us to overcome in our own strength. God invites us to unite our weakness to His strength. We do this when we take His yoke upon us.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NLT
Have you ever endured a trial so great you don’t even have a clue how you survived? That’s because you survived by grace. I remember when my fiancée left me – I lost my old job, and my new job was very hard for me to catch on to. I remember everything was going wrong every time I turned around. I remember crying out to God, “Give me one break, just one break!” It seemed the simplest things would not go right. Everything became hard and complicated and impossible. I also remember crying out to God, “I’m not asking you to make it easy. Just make it possible!” During this time my car kept breaking down, and after the umpteenth time it broke down in the middle of an intersection, I could not handle it any more and I started yelling and cursing at the top of my lungs things no child of God should ever say! I won’t tell you exactly what I yelled, but I will say when I hear someone else curse and swear when they are pushed beyond their limit, I am totally unfit and unqualified to judge them. All I am qualified to do is throw my arms around them and hug them.
I couldn’t catch a break. I was pushed way beyond what I could handle. There was no way out on my own. But you know what? I’m not sitting in the middle of the intersection with a broken-down car now. I now have a car that’s paid for and very dependable. I have a job that I love. No, I haven’t found the love of my life yet, unless you want to consider the love of my life being my job, the place I call home and all my wonderful family and friends in my community and around the world. Years ago I was sitting in the middle of an intersection with a broken-down car, no money, no love life, no way to survive. And with the attitude I then had, I did not deserve to survive. I gave hope up and began to curse. But yet, with no hope and no strength, I did survive. I survived because of one word. Grace.
God gave me more than I could bear. And while I had given up and thrown in the towel and was cursing life, Jesus came and threw His yoke around me and pulled me out of my pit of despair. I can’t even credit my faith because I had no faith! It was all one word. Grace.
God gave me more than I could handle. But that’s okay. I survived and now I thrive. Obviously He handled it all for me. The yoke Jesus gives us is not a burden. It is a support system. It’s grace.
The post God Will Definitely Give You More Than You Can Handle first appeared on Sabbath School Net.
Key Thought: Surrender is the toughest part of the Christian life. We can’t carry our burdens alone. We first need to recognize our need and choose to come to Jesus.
July 31, 2021
1. Have a volunteer read Matthew 11:20-28.
- Ask class members to share a short thought on what the most important point is in this passage.
- What kind of rest is Jesus speaking of here and hoe does He give it to us?
- Personal Application: What burdens are you carrying? How can you learn to give them to Jesus? Share your thoughts.
- Case Study: One of your relatives states, “I am so stressed out right now. Everything seems to be going wrong. I don’t see how anything can get fixed. People tell me to give it to Jesus, but what does that even mean? Sit back and not worry?” How would you respond to your friend?
2. Have a volunteer read Matthew 11:29,30.
- Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
- Why does Jesus tell us to take His yoke right after inviting us to find rest?
- Personal Application: How do you feel about being yoked to Christ as a partner in your labor in reaching souls for Christ? Do you feel like you’re doing it all alone at times? Share your thoughts.
- Case Study: One of your friends states, “Is being yoked to Jesus a burden and chore, or is it a positive thing? Why is submission a prerequisite for blessings?.” How would you respond to your friend?
3. Have a volunteer read Galatians 5:1`, Matthew 5:5.
- Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
- What is the difference between the yoke Christ asks us to carry and the yoke of bondage Paul warns us of
- Personal Application: Why is living a life of obedience to God’s law more restful thatn one who does not obey this law? Share your thoughts.
- Case Study: One of your relatives states: “What does meekness and humility have to do with Christ’s yoke of bondage? Does a person’s attitude play a role in our reaction to the salvation gospel?“ How would you respond to your relative?
4. Have a volunteer read Galatians 6:2.
- Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
- How does bearing one another’s burdens help us fulfill the law of Christ?
- Personal Application: Think about the last time someone helped you carry a burden. Why did that mean so much to you? What burden can you help someone else carry now?” Share your thoughts.
- Case Study: Think of one person who needs to hear a message from this week’s lesson. Tell the class what you plan to do this week to share with them.
(Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessings can be retained only as it is shared.”Ministry of Healing, p. 148).